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Review: Ingrid Bergman In Her Own Words


Ingrid Bergman in her Own Words does what any classic documentary should; it goes behind the scenes and gives us a closer look at its subject. The subject here is of course the one and only Ingrid Bergman, perhaps most famously known for her leading lady role in classic Casablanca. The documentary paints an intimate portrait of the Swedish actress who became one of Hollywood’s most beloved stars, reintroducing her to us not as a star, but as a woman to whom we can all relate in one way or another – a mother, a lover, a friend.

A lifetime of letters is read to us in the beautifully silky voice of Oscar-winning compatriot, Alicia Vikander. Her words, or rather Ingrid Bergman’s own words (of the film’s title) carry us along, together with interview snippets of Ingrid’s four children. Through the various memories and recollections, we are taken from Ingrid’s native Sweden to Hollywood, to her adopted Italy and back again.

The film serves as a history book, providing a narrative of a life lived in the golden era of Hollywood, and all the challenges that came along with that – including Bergman’s divorce from her first husband which caused an uproar and saw the actress all but outcast by a judgemental 1950s America.

More so however, this documentary manages to take one of the most famous faces of the silver screen and turn her into someone ordinary, in the best possible way. Not a film that will change your life, not something I would usually pay to see at the cinema, but a quiet and pleasant watch – definitely one for Bergman fans.



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